• How the world has changed.


    All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!

    No, I still have those.

    On my regular cliff walks I meet people. There are some souls one bumps into not frequently but then not infrequently.

    The mention of the novelty Christmas song written in 1944 by Donald Yetter Gardner is due to a visit to a dentist by your Editor on the 6th, when the tooth on the centreline of the lower jaw was removed – this when I would have been walking along the cliffs had it not been raining – which it was so I wouldn’t (gone for a walk). Well, part of it (the tooth) was. The result is regular salty mouth washing. The next day, I went on my regular cliff walk. It was then I met Charlie.

    Charlie is a chap who lives locally and is oft to be found on the same section of what is now known as the “Tin Coast” or “Costa Sten” in Cornish. Now Charlie is a chap who has a talent which causes me to be envious of him. Charlie can “do voices”. That is to say he is a most excellent and convincing mimic. He can do a wonderfully convincing Scouse accent, a Brummy accent and others. This is something I just cannot do but wish I could.

    Part of being able to mimic is of course an acute ability to hear how others speak. Thus, as I greeted Charlie with a “Hello”, Charlie replied with “What’s up with you? Your voice has a slight lisp.” I signalled surprise and Charlie continued, “Don’t worry. It is very slight. Most would not notice.” But of course, Charlie the mimic did. Charlie’s statement proved correct when later in a telephone conversation with a fellow UKipper, it was not noticed – even after I asked, “Have you noticed a difference in my voice?”

    The point of this rabbiting on is this: As I walked along Keddleston Road at 00:15HRS on Tuesday 1st January, 2013 looking at the many fireworks being let off, I had not planned to put 22 Kingswood Gardens on the market that coming April and to have moved out in early December thus causing me to spend Christmas 2013 as a lodger in a bungalow on Street Lane, Leeds 17 (Yes, Dear Reader, there is a road called “Street Lane”).

    My departure from the county (the West Riding of Yorkshire) of my birth, my childhood and of my working life to that date took place starting at 4:00AM on Sunday 9th February 2014. It was raining gently at the time I reversed the old dark grey W126 Merc’ out of the bungalow’s drive and then proceeded towards Moortown Corner, to turn left down Harrogate Road and on towards my new life. The reason for the choice of image above was that on or around that point on the A30 I shouted out, “I’ve done it Dad! I’ve done it!”

    Have I gone insane?

    Probably. I am still a member of UKIP after all!

    What it was was this, earlier in the day, when driving on the southbound carriageway of the M1 in Nottinghamshire I glanced momentarily at the Merc’s empty passenger seat. I remembered a sight back in 2002 when I drove my late father down to Cornwall for a break. Well, it was less of a break for him, more for mother who, along with me was his carer. Dad was looking straight through the windscreen. His eyesight was very poor at that stage and he would not have seen much, but he saw what he needed to see. That he was heading south and towards his beloved South West.

    You see, despite moving from Aldershot to Leeds in 1950, Dad had never really felt at home in what he called “the North”. He would have liked to relocate to “the South”, preferably the south west, but circumstances and life had always intervened to prevent such. As a result, Dad died at 23:40HRS on Friday 11th July 2003 in Ward 29 St. James’s Hospital Leeds 9 aged 97.

    Thus it was I had accomplished something that Dad had always wanted to do. Thus, as I drove along that or similar section of the A30 in the image above, I shouted what I shouted.

    Of course, since Sunday 9th February 2014 the world has changed:

    - We had a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
    - We won that referendum!
    - We have a reality TV star occupying the Oval Office!
    - We have two Marxists occupying the roles of Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Chancellor! With a strong likelihood of them being elected were there to be a General Election!

    Were that not enough, our politics have entered a strange surreal “Alice in Wonderland” world where the entire political class accompanied by the mainstream media appear to have lost most of their critical faculties and are pursing a course of action which could lead to the most monumental cock-up since August 1721!

    Meanwhile, in this Fool’s Paradise my situation appears to be “hunky dory”!

    I sold 22 Kingswood Gardens for far more than the estate agent ever thought it would sell for. The initial investment choices and subsequent changes has resulted in my income being such that I can live comfortably without the need to – as my old next door neighbour in Leeds suggested – “Look for a little job.”

    Since moving, I have made new friends. Typing this reminds me of something my late mother would say; “You can choose your friends. You cannot choose your family.”

    Furthermore, subsequent changes to the state pension – causing me and others born after October 1954 to receive their pension at 66 and not 65 – will enable me to complete 35 years of NICs thus causing me to receive a full state pension in late 2021. This is something mother was particularly concerned about.

    Thus it is that after watching the One of Clock News and eating a bowl of chicken soup I will venture once again to walk the cliffs of Penwith.

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